Uprise

About startups, funding, rising tech scenes, diversity and tech.

Building World-Class Startup Ecosystems by Focusing on Needs

As the managing partner at Beta Boom, a high-touch seed fund that focuses on emerging tech hubs, I have had the great fortune to speak to scores of entrepreneurs, tech workers, investors, and civic leaders in over a dozen emerging startup ecosystems in the United States as well as in regions such as Indonesia, Uruguay, and Nigeria. Through these conversations and numerous visits, I noticed that some ecosystems that seem replete with resources fail to meet the needs of local startups while others with smaller communities and fewer programs have thriving, successful tech scenes.

After giving this phenomenon considerable thought, I realized that resources don’t directly translate to meeting startups’ needs much in the same way that cramming features into a product doesn’t necessarily make it more useful. Instead of engaging in a race to create more resources, I believe that more effective startup ecosystems can be built by focusing instead on the needs that startups have. Only after truly understanding startups’ needs, should we consider what resources can best meet those needs. We can think of this as need-centered ecosystem design.Read More


The Leaky Bucket and the Tech Pipeline Issue

The leaky tech pipeline issue has been well documented and largely acknowledged by the industry. As various companies struggle with how to attract more women and minorities in their hiring process and how to train their personnel in “tolerance” (please don’t call it this!), I’d propose that we examine this problem through the lens of growth hacking as I think there is much to be learned from this approach. In essence, the problem that growth hackers are trying to solve is identical: how do you attract and keep people using your product? The question that executives at tech companies ask is similar: how do you attract and maintain a diverse workforce?

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WishYourPrice Is Inventing a World Where Everyone Has a Say on Prices

Imagine if you could decide how much you pay for everything you buy. Those shoppers that are willing to pay more for an item–either because they have the means or because they really want it–would pay more, whereas those that are not as keen to pay a lot could offer a lower price for the item. The retailer could then intelligently decide which prices they should accept to give them the greatest profit. By getting rid of one-size-fits-all prices, shoppers would win by being able to buy items at prices that make sense to them, and retailers would likewise gain by increasing the revenue that they earn from each shopper. This is the future that WishYourPrice is building.

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No Plug, No Cord, No Charging Pad: How WiWaves is Revolutionizing Wireless Charging

Imagine having your phone charge while it’s sitting in your pocket or while you hold it in your hand, untethered from the wall. Imagine not having to precisely place your phone on a pad to have it charge. Just imagine not having to even think about charging your phone at all! This is the future that WiWaves’ founders, Halston van der Sluys and Cameron Stuart envisioned, and the one they are making a reality with their first product, the Capsule, which is set to ship in November of this year.

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Virtually Walkthrough and Instantly Book Event Spaces with Venulist

If you have ever tried to book a venue for a larger event such as a birthday party or a corporate event, you probably spent days calling venues, emailing, and pursuing dead ends. Venulist is making it possible to book event spaces in a matter of minutes with 3D tours and instant AirBnB-like booking! Venulist is a truly transformative innovation in the $200B venue industry.

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